Private International Law Challenges in Protection and Enforcement of Copyrights in Cyberspace

By Muruga Perumal Ramaswamy.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Copyright protection is fundamentally territorial in nature. Although there are international legal measures like the Berne Convention addressing copyright protection, only minimum standards of protection are prescribed. The actual scope of protection of copyrights and other related legal issues are left for the national laws of the individual member states. Since the copyright regimes take a minimalist approach and the protection of copyrights is mainly territorial, conflict of laws (otherwise known as “private international law”) plays a critical role in determining the scope and limitations of copyright protection internationally. The Internet, being a global network and the legal regimes (both substantive copyright laws and conflict of laws) governing cyber copyrights, being territorial in nature increases the need to identify specific conflict of law challenges and address them effectively. The paper takes cognizance of this complex set of legal challenges facing the exploitation of digital copyrights pertaining to information technology in cyberspace.

The paper first identifies the major conflict of law issues and challenges facing digital copyright protection in cyberspace. Related questions of jurisdiction and applicable law issues are briefly introduced before the specific jurisdictional challenges are closely examined. The paper then investigates the scope and limitations of existing international legal measures in addressing the challenges. In the light of the identified limitations, the potential of some of the major emerging international measures aimed at effectively addressing the complexity is explored. The paper concludes with an analysis of why this significant field of international governance is critical in ensuring a healthy growth of digital products and information technology pertaining to the commercial exploitation of the cyberspace in the future.

Keywords: Conflict of Law and IPRs in Cyberspace, Private International Law and Digital Copyrights, IPRs in the Internet and International Conflict Rules

International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp.137-148. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 761.676KB).

Dr. Muruga Perumal Ramaswamy

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Macau, Macau SAR, China

Dr. Muruga Perumal Ramaswamy holds a Ph.D. in International E–business and Information Technology Law and the degrees M.Phil. in International Law, M.Sc. in International Business Management, LL.M. in Maritime and Labor Laws, and B.L. Bachelor of Law in Common Law, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in International Trade Law. Research Interests in Information Technology Laws, E–commerce Laws, WTO Law, International Law and International Business Management.


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